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The festive season in Barcelona is special for many reasons. Firstly there are the traditional elements, like the Christmas markets, particularly the Santa Llúcia one by the cathedral, which has been held since 1786 and is where local families go to buy pieces for their cribs. Talking of which, pessebres (which is what they're called in Catalan) can be seen in places around the city including Plaça Sant Jaume, City Hall and the Reial Monestir de Pedralbes. And "pessebres vivents" feature real people (and animals) acting out the Christmas story – if the chance comes up to see one, for example at Poble Espanyol, don't miss it. On a more modern note, Barcelona is conscious of the need to be environmentally aware at this time of year, and Plaça Catalunya hosts a fair promoting responsible consumption, as well as fun and games for all ages. As the glittering lights brighten the streets at night, why not feast on some roasted chestnuts from one of the stalls around town before enjoying a concert of Christmas music?
"Christmas here is really special. Christmas fairs like Santa Llúcia, live Nativities, fairs promoting responsible eating and beautiful Christmas lights make a Barcelona Christmas well worth experiencing."
Barcelona is renowned as a great place to shop, with a variety of places to buy that make up the city's unique identity, so it's a great choice for getting those all-important Christmas gifts. 'Barcelona Shopping City' offers the chance to walk around seeing the history and architecture while discovering neighbourhood commercial areas and markets that have local, Mediterranean and artisanal products, as well as shopping centres and department stores that bring together numerous international brands under one roof. During the 'Barcelona Christmas Shopping' period, you'll find everything from unique, traditional objects made in Catalonia to exclusive national and international labels, as well as a huge range of festive food, traditions and special activities to enjoy. In early December, Barcelona Shopping Night sees the shops and restaurants of Passeig de Gràcia and the surrounding streets open late into the night.
"It's a really tempting prospect to do some shopping in areas of the city where you can enjoy the majestic architecture and history of Barcelona, while you discover shopping quarters with distinctive local shops and markets selling local produce. You're sure to find everything you're looking for."
There are many different sides to Barcelona: the Barcelona with its traditional neighbourhoods, the Gothic, modernista and contemporary city… but there is also a green Barcelona, the Barcelona of parks and gardens. You’ll find them dotted around the city. These green spaces are always interesting, whether it be for their plants, urban design or sculptures.
Barcelona has ten accessible beaches, with Wi-Fi and excellent amenities and services inviting you to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea throughout the year.
Nature in its purest state just a couple of hours away from Barcelona.
In the Catalan Pyrenees you can go Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing. The most adventurous among you can enjoy heli-skiing, cross-country skiing in mountainous areas along trails that pass between shelters high up in the mountains, along with many other activities.
Located in the counties of the Val d'Aran and Pallars Sobirà, this is the largest skiable area in Catalonia (155 km). Standing on the north side of the Pyrenees, facing the Atlantic, its position guarantees a thick blanket of snow so you can enjoy skiing throughout the season.
Situated in the county of La Cerdenya, La Molina was Spain's first ski resort and pioneered winter sports in the country.
The Masella ski resort is located in the county of La Cerdanya. Its skiable area covers 74 km and, a few years ago, a slope was built connecting it with its neighbouring resort, La Molina. Both resorts go under the name Alp 2500 and give you the opportunity to ski on over 135 km of slopes.
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